Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.15mi
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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.15mi
  2. Distance: 0.16mi
  3. Distance: 0.18mi
  4. Distance: 0.30mi
  1. Distance: 0.15mi
  2. Distance: 0.16mi
  3. Distance: 0.18mi
  4. Distance: 0.30mi

About Nicola's Ristorante

Located just north of Downtown in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati’s hip and historic neighborhood, Nicola’s Ristorante Italiano has long been a fine dining staple of the city during its 18 years of operation. Owners Nicola and Maureen Pietoso pride their restaurant not only for its highly acclaimed contemporary Italian menu, extensive wine list, and variety of unique dining spaces, but most especially for their restaurant’s long-standing reputation for being warmly hospitable and accommodating.

1420 Sycamore Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
Liberty Street

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(513) 721-6200

Website:
http://www.nicolasotr.com/

Catering:
Nicola's Ristorante offers catering to diners' homes; 5-8 courses with wine parings, minimum 10 people, no Saturdays or Sundays, starting at $90.00 a person.

Parking Details:
Street parking and valet parking Monday through Saturday.

Executive Chef:
Joel Molloy

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Our award-winning food, wine, unique private & semi-private dining spaces, and professional service combine to create truly memorable experiences for business meetings, social celebrations, weddings, and rehearsal dinners. We can tailor the event to your individual needs.

Nicola's Ristorante Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.2

Noise

Quiet

93% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (52)
Good for Anniversaries (49)
Notable Wine List (43)
See All
Good for a Date (43)
Fit for Foodies (40)
Romantic (39)
Good for Birthdays (31)
Creative Cuisine (28)
Neighborhood Gem (28)
Business Meals (26)
Cozy (25)
Quiet Conversation (22)
Authentic (22)
Pre/post Theatre (19)
Good for Groups (18)
Worth the Drive (18)
Bar Seating (14)
Hot Spot (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Local Ingredients (9)
Seasonal (9)
Fun (8)
Great for Outdoor Dining (7)
Tasting Menu (7)
Comfort Food (7)
Disabled Access (4)
Casual (3)
Late-night Find (3)
People Watching (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Great Beer (1)
Healthy (1)
Scenic View (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Tapas (1)
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2215 reviews
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vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 2 days ago

Best restaurant in Cincinnati. You can always count on this restaurant to provide a great experience .

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 2 days ago

Food and wine were great! Double date- ambiance was warm and cozy
Our server kept us on track to get us to the theater

Tags: Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on January 13, 2018

The food was absolutely incredible. Definitely spring for the bread. It is well worth it!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Server was excellent! Very attentive, not over bearing and great recommendations

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Another fantastic dinner at Nicolas - the dinner menu is escellent — we had the short rib and the venison. The venison tenderloin slices were amazing!

Excellent service by Meghan (again) and Nicola helped with the perfect wine selection. It is great to see the level of owner involvement and the results speak for themselves, we appreciated the great evening and will keep coming back.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 6, 2018

A return trip to Nicola's and it was well worth the trip, once again. Met with long time friends and they were pleased. As we were celebrating a couple of major events in our lives, we brought our own special wines. We were allowed to bring two bottles. The server was very accommodating and aware of one of our wines.
The server paid the right amount of service, checking with us at appropriate times and was eager to let us enjoy the evening.

I would recommend this restaurant and look to take the 70 mile drive to go there again.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 1, 2018

We dined at Nicola's on New Year's Eve to start the new year on a high note and as usual Nicola's lived up to our expectation. It is amongst the top 4 of our favorite restaurants in Cincinnati. Meghan serve us and she did an outstanding job!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Always enjoy the experience of dining here. Great staff, very friendly and accommodating and best gnocchi in the city

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 31, 2017

We were very excited to try Nicola’s for the first time. The food was good, but they will not do any changes or substitutions. I asked for olive oil to go with the bread, and the waitress made us feel like that was a huge inconvenience. Also, there was a valet attendant that did not greet or open the door. The hostess seemed very annoyed that we didn’t want to be seated early and preferred to have a drink at the bar before (we arrived 20 minutes early to do so). The salads were dropped off, and we were not asked if we needed salt, pepper, parm. It was hard to track down service. If you are seated in the main room, the experience would be much better. We were seated upstairs and it was quiet and cold. I’m really not sure what the rave is all about. The food is good, but for the price I feel that the service and facilities need to match the experience and it does not.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience1
service1
value1

 
·Dined on December 28, 2017

The entire experience was wonderful. The food was good (wasn’t thrilled with what I ordered but everything else was incredible), the service was great, and the environment was welcoming. We will definitely be coming back!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 27, 2017

It was terrible. It's been at least a year since we had been there, just wasn't very good. Food tasted old like it has been sitting around. It upset all of our stomachs. Wasn't a good experience. We will never go back and definitely wouldn't recommend it for good Italian.

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food1
ambience3
service2
value1

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Have had many Christmas Eve and other special occasion meals here. Bread basket is a real star, but food is always wonderful!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Very nice ambiance. Great food and cozy atmosphere. Had the gnocchi and cod/seafood. Delicious.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 24, 2017

I left Cincinnati 12 years ago, so it had been many years since I last went to Nicola's. My memories of this place were so good, I feared disappointment because memory can be better than reality. I was not disappointed. Everything looks as fresh and new as it did before, and the food...

I tend not to go to Italian restaurants because, for the most part, they are ubiquitous and each ia fairly similar to the others. Not so with Nicola's. On the menu was one of the best octopus dishes I have had. The flavors were delicate and complimented the very tender and nicely grilled octopus. The Caesar salad was perfect--not overdressed (as most places tend to do) and didn't cover up the actual taste of the romaine. My dinner mates and I split Farfalle with crab and the Gnudi. We had a hard time deciding which was better because both were so fresh and the sauces so perfect. Next up were venison, short rib, and duck. Again, we couldn't decide which of the mains was best. The preparation of the meats, serving temps, and plate accompaniments were perfect.

You will notice, the word I used most and purposefully was "perfect." Nicola's has never disappointed am so glad my memories matched reality. A bonus was the service: Exceptionally speedy, delightful, and knowledgeable with just the right amount of professionalism.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Business Meals, Seasonal, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 22, 2017

My husband and I love this place and we celebrate our special days here.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 22, 2017

Family holidays

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 20, 2017

My family and I go to dinner before the Nutcracker ballet every year. I was pleasantly surprised with the prices. 4 of us had dinner and 2 adult beverages for $125. Nice to have gluten free options. The pasta was a little too al dente, though. The server was attentive until couples started coming in. He knew that we needed to get to the show. I had to ask for the check, then had to wait for it. I actually thought that the restaurant would be more upscale.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Cozy, Bar Seating, Good for Groups
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food3
ambience4
service2
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 19, 2017

We were there on a Mon. for their special and had fantastic cocktails, great wine and a most delightful meal with plenty to take home. Just a fabulous dinning experience.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on December 16, 2017

Amazing food. Hostess was a little rude on arrival. Our server (with bright pink tie) was fantastic. Her knowledge of the menu was impressive!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 13, 2017

It was amazing. Dylan was our server and he was awesome. It was our second date and it went very well. I knew it was going to be expensive but it was well worth it. Definitely a great place for anniversaries, family events and other important dates. Thanks again. My only thing I would add to the menu are Cannoli for which is my business....Del Gardo's. Anyway, hope to see you all soon! Merry Christmas!

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 12, 2017

Food is usually good there. Not so much last night. The octopus was mushy, usually it has a Better texture. Flavor was OK. Has been better in the past. There were 5 of us. Every one enjoyed their food except me. I ordered the Venison but it was too salty and. Not much flavor. I sent it back.
Others ordered the scallops and the pasta with bolognese. Both were very good.
Our waiter was not that great visually we have great service. Don’t want to mention his name. He did everything right but just seemed like he would rather be somewhere else.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 12, 2017

always quality food and service. Love the traditional as well as innovative menu by this chef.

Tags: Authentic, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene, Cozy, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 11, 2017

This place is always a treat. I love the atmosphere and the food. Definitely recommend!

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Special Occasion, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 11, 2017

This place exudes confidence and friendliness in their atmosphere and cuisine. Just a great place to be after a long day of work! Michelle and her helpers made sure our experience enjoyable.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Disappointed. Server seemed tired. Some of the food came out lukewarm to cold. Their great bread came out cold. Not much goat cheese on salad. Venison had great flavor as did the scallops

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food3
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 9, 2017

The food and the service were phenomenal! I can't wait to come back and have already told a few friends to give it a try.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Handcrafted Cocktails, Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Food was overall very delicious. Gnocchi is a must! Bolognese was good but not impressive but the scallop entree was amazing.

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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Best Italian in Cincinnati. Great wine list too.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 9, 2017

The food just wasn’t as good as I remember. The polenta soufflé was more of a flan. The gnocchi were delicious. The farfalle was nice but a bit too smoky. The let down was the mains the short rib was like a pot roast, the pickled veg were lovely though. The cod on lentils was just boring.

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food3
ambience5
service5
value2

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 8, 2017

Unfortunately, with the number of Christmas gatherings, it was very noisy. The table Tony left had a woman with no “inside voice.“ when two people sitting across from each other cannot hear because of another person sitting at another table, they are too loud.

Tags: Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Tapas
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 7, 2017

Great food service and experience. Highly recommend!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 7, 2017

This is one of my fave restaurants in Cincinnati and I’ve always enjoyed the food. I am so disappointed to say that the service we received tonight was not the greatest. We recently had a baby and getting out now is a special occasion. Our server forgot our appetizer, didn’t refill our cocktail, or even ask if we wanted another. The food as always was amazing. The ambiance, the food, and the service were always my favorite reasons to visit Nicola’s.

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food5
ambience4
service1
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 5, 2017

Nicola's food is very good; only negative thing is they charge $1.33 per person for Bread. Not sure why it's not just complimentary but not the end of the world.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 5, 2017

Food was great, ambiance comfortable, service outstanding.

Tags: Special Occasion, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Cozy
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 4, 2017

Superb meal and Jeremy provided outstanding service.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Simply outstanding. Brought out of town guests that loved it.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Columbus)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Christmas with kids

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Wasn’t happy with our table. But other than that it was terrific

Tags: Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Quiet Conversation, Seasonal, Worth the Drive, Business Meals
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 28, 2017

Service great Bolognese Monday great value however pasta dish was flat lacked flavor beet salad should be called quinoa with couple small diced beets dessert pretty and tasty eclair bread basket best part of whole meal my second time here and not as I remembered I was so disappointed with the pasta but I would go back not for pasta try something new

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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 27, 2017

Always excellent food. We have been many times. Everything is wonderful

Tags: Notable Wine List, Fun, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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